Yesterday my parents sold their house. It’s a pretty heavy statement, emotionally. Or I feel like it should be. I feel like I should be having a more definite feeling about the house I grew up in being sold, but in its place I have an emotion I can’t quite describe.
First of all, they sold their house to move closer to my younger brother and his family, so the sale was not one made out of financial misfortune. The house they’ve moved in to is smaller than their old one, but cozier. They don’t need a house for four people any more, only two, and my brother lives down the block from them. It’s pretty ideal in both circumstances and location.
And the old house wasn’t exactly “the house I grew up in.” We moved once when I was a kid, and our previous house was right across the street from the one my parents recently sold. I was nine years old when we moved, and I lived in that second house until I was eighteen, so my formative years were quite evenly split between those two places.
There’s a part of me that keeps saying “you should feel more bittersweet about this” or “there should be an ache in your heart,” but I think the truth is that I feel guilty about not feeling very strongly about it.
The rest of my family has a more reverent view of the past than I do. I tend to keep my focus on what’s next as opposed to what’s been. Honestly I care more that my parents and my brother’s family will now be closer together than I do about where they used to live, and where I spent my childhood and teenage years. Where part of me is nagging that I should feel some sadness, in its place I feel only excitement about what’s next for them.
I’m not going to miss that house. Why should I? I haven’t called it “home” since I moved out but I carry its memories with me, so it’s not really gone. Most memories were fond, some were bad, more than I care to admit were filled with (my) teenage awkwardness. The people in it, who made that place a home and crafted those memories, aren’t gone either. They’re just in a different place, with the prospect of new memories to make and a new place of their own to call home.